Archive for simplicity

Rat In A Cage

Posted in Life, Present with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2011 by Shea Atkin

Today I can really relate to the Smashing Pumpkins lyric : “Despite all my rage , I am still just a rat in a cage.”.  I don’t necessarily have rage, but I do feel like sometimes I am just running and running without and end.  Cognitively, I know the steps to take for serenity to occur, but my fight or flight response gets so high that I default to the adrenaline rush fix.

A few minutes ago, I walked into the backyard with my bare feet to sit in the hammock for a few minutes and listen to the sounds of nature while being aware of my surroundings.  Automatically, I felt the desire to write about it, so I cut my meditation/prayer time short so I could come into Crystal’s room and type out what I was feeling.  I wish my computer was not stolen when we were robbed.  My blog time has severely been cut short.  Plus, it’s not often that I am the only one at my residence.

I love my job, my family and friends, my passion and drive.  However, I tend to prioritize inefficiently.  Sitting here in the silence, I am reminded that if I am not working on myself being whole–I will never be whole for anybody else.  So when I wake up in the morning, I have to do the things (especially the little things), to set the stage for the rest of my waking time.  These things are what keep me sane and restore my awareness of God and Creation.  Otherwise, I’m just running in circles like I used to.

I’m thankful for my natural gifts and I want to use them to the best of my ability.  I don’t want to just be a rat in a cage–especially the overwhelming anxiety that accompanies that feeling.  Today I will rest my mind and my body, and not worry about all of the things that need to get done.  I’ll shut off my phone for a designated time and concentrate on the things that are most important.  Most of the stuff I strive so hard for, I can’t take with me when I die anyway.  So why?

Today I will be aware and present.  Kind and compassionate.  Loving and thoughtful.  All things that do not come naturally to me, but are extremely rewarding and satisfying.  I’m headed back to my hammock now.

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Recycled Vulnerability

Posted in Life, Past, Poetry, Present with tags , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2011 by Shea Atkin

 

Lying dormant for the right opportunity

Surfacing when emotionally available

 

Second thoughts materializing as the answer

Questioning logic while entertaining fantasy

Visceral reaction–sparked by letting go

 

Compromising trust with choice

Rarely saving reality a seat

 

Options infinitum

 

Nothing is new

All has been here before

 

Learning from the past

As I enjoy the present

I wait for the future

Which has already taken place

Moving

Posted in Present with tags , , , , , , , on February 23, 2011 by Shea Atkin

We are moving in 2 days.  Moving has always created anxiety for me.  In the past 7 years, Matt and I have never stayed in the same residence for more than a year.  And here we go again.  This time, I am thoroughly feeling it.  I’m tired of having to go through the same routine, but at the same time, thankful that things are finally starting to fall into place–slowly.

Mostly all of my stuff is in boxes.  I am looking for things to no avail.  So I decided to sit down and blog about it instead of going crazy in my head.  Over the past year in our current apartment, we have gone through some major changes.  I very much look forward to starting over (again), but I appreciate the times that we have spent here.  I know that moving isn’t going to change everything, but it will lend the opportunity to make positive changes.  Ollie can’t wait to play in the “big yard”.  It’s the little things that I am excited about.  Like the fact that we can finally have a grill again.  And I can sit outside in a hammock with beautiful trees to shade from the hot sun.  We can get a slip-n-slide for the ridiculously excruciating summer months instead of being cooped up in a top floor apartment.  We will have wood floors and a big tile kitchen that Matt finally gets to decorate in London theme.  We will have Crystal living with us to hang out with Ollie.  The list could go on forever.

I go into this new move with much gratitude.  The first time I walked onto the premises, I felt healing.  This will be a healing home.  I don’t know what that means exactly, but I know that it will be a safe place to just ‘be’.

Moving means a lot of different things, but this time it will be on purpose.  It’s time to say goodbye to certain aspects of the past and move forward with a positive direction.  This year is going to be special and unique.

Instead of stressing about where my toenail clippers are, I will just take a deep breath and know that everything will fall into place eventually.  I’d rather enjoy the last couple of days here rather than fight it.  I’m so tired of fighting.

Perception

Posted in Life, Present with tags , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by Shea Atkin

It’s everything and nothing, all at the same time. Whatever that means.

Recently I have gone through a series of dramatic occurences that leave me scratching my head.  I have more questions than answers.  Tonight I realize that is ok.  As I look at stuff from an objective viewpoint, I start to grasp the true definition of perception, which is:

The act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.  www.dictionary.com

I’m struck by the word ‘act’.  Knowing doesn’t get me anywhere without action.  I have tons of intentions that end up nowhere.  Action is the only way to truly be fully aware of perception and it’s role in my life.  Over the past month, I have asked ‘why’ about a million times.  As the days go on, I find that timing is everything.  These situations were not ‘bad’ or ‘good’–they just, were.  I guess if I really knew the big picture, I would try to rush things.  But reality is, all I have to do is live.  One day at a time.  That’s it.  It’s hard for me because I like to make things happen.  I want to force whatever I perceive to be ‘right’ into the equation.  This inevitably leads to a big, fat mess.  I can’t even tell you how many times I have to relive and relearn this lesson.

I heard a quote today that resonated– “When emotion and intellect are in a battle, emotion usually wins.”  This rings true more often than not, for me.  That 18 inches between my head and my heart try to meet, but usually one dominates.  Theoretically I can calculate what to do in a given situation, but throw my crazy emotions into the equation and I wind up a basketcase.  This leads me to the understanding that I need to work certain steps to ensure that ‘Crazy Shea’ doesn’t break onto the scene once times get tough. And I learn.  And I learn.

I only have the tools to change the crazy in me, not in you.  I can only affect my perception and not impose it on others.  For most of my life, I have tried to fix situations so everything runs smoothly.  This results in huge resentments on my part since I can’t control anything.  Now that I am finally just staying on my side of the street (for the most part), the ‘crazy’ has lessened and life doesn’t feel so piercingly loud and chaotic.  The perception shift is dynamically profound and produces a calm I have never known.  For once, life is as it should be, in this moment.  Nothing more, nothing less.

 

Words

Posted in Life, Present with tags , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2011 by Shea Atkin

“Words kill, words give life;  they’re either poison or fruit–you choose”  Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)

How often this applies.  Every day we wake up with the choice to seize the day or retreat inside our personal dungeons of self.  The power of the tongue is stronger than almost any force in existence.  If our heart is not in the right place,irreparable damage can be done.

The importance of words (and knowledge of it) is vital for survival.  I have had numerous occasions where I was having a terrible day and somebody said something that brought me out of myself (and self-pity) and into focusing on others.  I have also had more than a few instances where the opposite has taken place, and I was left with a not so good feeling.

As I further examine my motivations– I realize that what comes out of me is exactly what I choose to put in.  Whether it be good or bad–it always comes out.  I find that when I look past my situations, miraculously the solution appears.  Getting out of “me mode” allows real and significant change.  The change that is always appreciated, even though the package may be presented as a big, impossible mess.  Later on, I realize that impossibly messy package was a huge blessing.  I heard the other day that “A blessing is anything that pushes, drags or claws it’s way in to make you a better person.”  I love this analogy because I generally think of blessings as warm fuzzies.  This description pertains to retrospect–and the only way to get it is to walk through it (sometimes kicking and screaming).  The point is–we will always come out the other side( in one way or another) truly changed from the inside out.

I look forward to the day that I do more good than harm to myself and anyone else.  It’s a slow process, but it teaches patience, perseverance and honesty.  I could go on and on about what I learn on a daily basis–but that will be saved for many more blogs to come.  I guess all of this ties in with the importance of words.  All I know right now is that I want to say a lot of positive and wonderful words to uplift others, and a lot less negative ones.  We are all in this together and I want to encourage instead of discourage.  The only way I can do this effectively is for my heart to be in the right place.  Otherwise, it will just come off as fake.

Coping Methods

Posted in Life, Present with tags , , , , , , on January 10, 2011 by Shea Atkin

 

Yesterday, a very important person in my life said– ” I need to go to Life Anonymous (L.A.)!”

I  proceeded to crack up.  Mostly because of the fact that it is so true!  Most of the time, recovery is looked at as weakness.  I have found that to be completely untrue.  The biggies like alcohol, drugs and sex are what are assumed as “problems”– but what about anger, resentment and fear?  These I have found to be equally debilitating.

Coping methods, for me, are established so I can avoid root problems.  If I quit one “behavior”, inevitably it will be replaced with something–if I subscribe to the theory that “energy is neither created nor destroyed”.  Addiction is addiction.  Pure and simple.  Recently I have found myself slipping back into patterns.  Not symptoms, but patterned negative behavior.  Not because I want to, it’s just an easy go-to.

If I don’t take care of what I innately know about myself–I start resenting people and situations.  Plus, I have the added anxiety of reacting instead of being proactive.  This always leads to disaster.  I believe that everything is a lesson and we learn from our experiences, but I also have the choice to use my knowledge of cause and effect.  It’s about honesty.  Being honest about who and I am what I am feeling–not what I should or could be feeling.  I have to deal with the present, and only then can change truly occur.

I had to sit down with myself today and ask some hard questions.  What I came up with is that I really need to look at life as a continuum.  Stop beating myself up about what I didn’t do, and just work on “the now”.  The anxiety immediately vanished.  The answer is simple, but not easy.  Switching one addiction for another will work for a while, but will not work in the long run.  I have to honestly ask myself what the base of the issue is.  Whether it is fear or insecurity—is it selfish or self-seeking?  Only then can I work on steps to alleviate the symptoms I encounter.

 

 

 

Jealousy

Posted in Life, Present with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2010 by Shea Atkin

” A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” ~Robert A. Heinlein

“In jealousy there is more self-love than love.”  ~François, Duc de La RochefoucauldMaxims, 1665

“Love looks through a telescope; envy, through a microscope.”  ~Josh Billings

“Envy is the most stupid of vices, for there is no single advantage to be gained from it.”  ~Honore de Balzac

Definition of Jealousy:

1. Jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another’s success or advantage itself..
2. Mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry,unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims.
3. Vigilance in maintaining or guarding something. ——- Dictionary.com
I’m guilty of it.  How bout you?
I find that when I feel that green dragon beast well up inside me, it has less to do with the person it is aimed at and more about the lack of security within myself.  It’s in the moments where I feel like I am cosmically owed something.  As if the Universe or God or whatever has slighted me…  Has forgotten about me….What else I could have done to make myself worthy of what I am envious of.  These are not the right thoughts to go to, but I am also human and probably a pretty naturally easy emotion to default to if I’m not spiritually in check.
Most of the time I don’t realize it until it has already had an affect.  By nature, I’m not necessarily what would be described as a “jealous person”, but I still have my moments.  Like, if someone possesses something that I wish I had by now.  Or if there is a certain quality that I admire in an individual.  Respect slowly turns to jealousy and the admiration sours to bitterness in a split second.  I’m learning to catch it quickly now so I can label the resentment and move on, but earlier–it would fester and I would feel a certain entitlement to be bitter about what I did not have.  Not cool.  Not cool at all!
The people that I look up to and admire have had their long, hard road and are benefitting from their past pain and living in the moment .  THAT is admirable.  They have had their share of heartache and don’t sit around, wallowing in self loathing and bitterness.  They picked themselves up and kept on walking.  They didn’t stay stagnant.  They persevered.  They didn’t take “no” for an answer.  They didn’t continue to live in the past.  And they definitely would not want anyone to be jealous of them!  Now, there are such unfortunate cases that have acquired a substantial amount of material possessions through wealth (and flaunt it shamelessly), but that is not the point of what I am writing about.   I am reminded of a verse in Proverbs 16:5  which states: “God can’t stomach arrogance or pretense; believe me, he’ll put those upstarts in their place.”
So, I guess what I am getting at is the root of jealousy is insecurity.  The only person that can choose to deal with the insecurity is me.  I must be the one to want to change.  It’s not everyone else that needs to change.  It’s me.  If I think that everyone else is the problem–chances are, I am the one with the problem!  I’ve seen it quite a bit in others recently and observed the detriment that comes along with the baggage.  It’s a terrible emotion to possess, but with any sort of pain, this can be good.  Pain exists to show that there is a problem.  If there were no inflammation (pain), I wouldn’t know that there was an issue.  So for the pain, I am thankful.  It shows me how to move forward and be happy for those around me who have already gone through this season of life.  I learn from them on a daily basis, and instead of being jealous of what they have–I am honored to be able to learn from their past mistakes and their present good fortune.